SPAN10130 Hispanic Cultures & Societies

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module introduces students to the study of Spanish society and culture through enquiry-based learning, a student-centred approach that focuses on the development of independent critical thinking, research skills, and presentation skills (oral and written) in both individual and group work. It is intended as a foundation module for programme students of Spanish, but may also be of interest to students of other disciplines. No previous knowledge of Spanish language is required although such knowledge will allow students to use resources (written and audiovisual) in Spanish if they wish.

Students will be required to work on various tasks relating to Spanish society and culture, formulating creative responses to those tasks using a range of resources, including the guidance of the tutors.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

The module’s focus on the development of both transferrable skills and subject-specific knowledge is strategically aligned to the core UCD Graduate Attributes: academic excellence, intellectual flexibility, cultural literacy, and global engagement.

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
- locate and handle primary and secondary material required for the successful completion of a given task.
- summarise material effectively and synthesise arguments to make clear points.
- work in teams, share work fairly and meet the obligations set by the group.
- reflect on appropriate learning strategies and use such reflection to improve their own self-directed and autonomous learning skills.
- demonstrate familiarity with a range of social, political and cultural aspects of Spanish society from the twentieth century to today.
- recognize to what extent Spanish societies are still responding to historical experiences.
- empathise with and appreciate a variety of viewpoints regarding the challenges these societies have faced over the past decades.

Indicative Module Content:

This is for information purposes only and is provisional and subject to change.

Indicative Lecture Schedule
Week 1: No class for first year students
Week 2: Introduction to the module and ‘las dos Españas’
Week 3: Spain Under Franco: ¡Una, Grande y Libre!
Week 4: 1977’s Ley de amnistía and Spain’s Memory Debates
Week 5 “Franco is Dead”: Popular Subcultures and the Transition to Democracy
Week 6 Reading Week (Submission of individual project 45%)
Week 7: Mexican Society and Culture
Week 8: Chicano Art and Activism
Week 9: Chilean Society and Culture
Week 10 Cuban Society and Culture
Week 11 Preparation of group projects
Week 12 No class (Submission of group project 40%)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
As the learning objectives of seminars may be compromised by social distancing and the wearing of facemasks, all classes classes will take place online, and are scheduled according to the university timetable. Active participation in these classes is required. In addition to that, full engagement wilth material and tasks made accessible in Brightspace is expected every week.

The module combines traditional delivery of material through lectures with Enquiry-based learning (EBL). This method of teaching requires active participation and group work on the part of students. 

The aims of teaching this module partly through EBL are:
• To stress the manner in which many academic activities at university require an active involvement from students in gathering information and in evaluating it critically;
• To encourage students to critically engage with the module content;
• To foment collaboration, intellectual exchange and group work from the start of a student’s university career, and so prepare them for professional life afterwards;
• To teach Beginners and Non-Beginners of Spanish together so that they draw upon their particular strengths to reach an awareness of the value of peer teaching and support from the beginning of their university studies.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Intro to Hispanic Studies I (SPAN10030), Intro to Hisp Stds I (Beg) (SPAN10040), Exploring Hispanic Cultures (SPAN10100)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 1000 - Word Essay Week 6 n/a Graded No


Group Project: Final group project based on material examined throughout the module Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment • Group/class feedback, post-assessment

Selected Reading List on Hispanic Societies

Black, S. (2010). Spain since 1939, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Fowler, W. (2002). Latin America 1800-2000: Modern History for Modern Languages. London and New York: Arnold.
Gies, D. (1999). The Cambridge Companion to Modern Spanish Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Graham, H. & Labanyi, J. (1995). Spanish Cultural Studies: An introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hamilton, N. et al. (1986). Modern Mexico: State, Economy and Social Conflict. London: Sage Publications.
Hooper, J. (1995). The New Spaniards, London: Penguin.
Jackson, C.F. (2009). Chicana and Chicano Art: Protestarte (Mexican American Experience).
Jordan, B. & Morgan-Tamosunas R. (2000). Contemporary Spanish Cultural Studies, London: Arnold).
Joseph, G.M. and Henderson T.J. (2002). The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics, Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.
Knippers, Black, J (2011). Latin America: Its Problems and Its Promise, Philadelphia: Westview.
King, John (ed.) (2007) The Cambridge Companion to Modern Latin American Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Lawlor, T. et al. (1998). Contemporary Spain, London: Longman.
Levy, D. et al. (1983). Mexico: Paradoxes of Stability and Change. Philadelphia: Westview
Marchak, P.M. and Marchak, W. (1999) God’s Assassins: State Terrorism in Argentina in the 1970s. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press
Montaldo, G and Nouzeilles, G (eds.) (2002). The Argentina Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Chapel Hill: Duke University Press
Pelusi, V.C. (2014) Race and Ethnicity in Latin American History, London: Routledge
Preston, P. (1986). The Triumph of Democracy in Spain, London: Methuen.
Richardson, B. (2001). Spanish Studies, London: Arnold.
Rosales, F.A (1997). Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, Houston: Arte Público Press.
Ross, C. J. (1997). Contemporary Spain, London: Arnold.
Skidmore, T. E. et al. (2010). Modern Latin America, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Name Role
Dr Pascale Baker Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Diana Battaglia Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Eva Bru-Dominguez Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Mary Farrelly Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Monica Galindo Gonzalez Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Ruben Gonzalez Vallejo Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Miss Katherine Gosling Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Philip Johnston Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Paul McAleer Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Tara Plunkett Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Nuria de Cos Lara Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Fri 13:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 13:00 - 13:50